Headlines about Herceptin show equality of access to costly drugs must be tackled

The recent press coverage on the use of Herceptin (brand name for the drug trastuzumab) for treating breast cancer in its early stages shows that issues of equal access to costly but effective drugs must be confronted, says an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Trastuzumab was "rapidly adopted as the standard of care" in the US for treating breast cancer, but one of the barriers to its use in other countries is its high cost, say the authors. In Canada the treatment costs $C50,000 a year (25,000) per patient, and despite its effectiveness was not approved for funding in Ontario until after a media backlash.

The drug represents the first of probably many new cancer treatments of this kind, say the authors. The new hope it gives to patients also highlights new cost issues - both for the drugs themselves and surrounding cost of treatment.

Equality of patient access must extend to these accompanying areas, for example in diagnosing suitability for the drugs. Recent UK figures, for instance, show that only half of women are currently tested for the cancer gene targeted by the new treatment.

Healthcare systems around the world must no longer be left scrambling when effective new treatments come on the market. Transparent, timely and appropriately funded processes must be in place if patients are to get equal access to the best new treatments, conclude the authors.


Contact: Tersea Hagan
BMJ-British Medical Journal

Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. Medical residents unclear about TB guidelines
2. Threats to hope -- Desperation affects reasoning about product information
3. Men worry more about penile size than women, says 60-year-old research review
4. New mothers often not asked about depression, UNC survey finds
5. Smart mice teach scientists about learning process, brain disorders
6. Fatalistic beliefs about cancer cause many to ignore cancer prevention advice
7. Food and drink, and what it says about us
8. Forensic pathologists tell physiologists what they know about death and what puzzles them
9. Medical students should be taught about rape
10. Survey reveals misperceptions about Alzheimers among African-American and Hispanic caregivers
11. What do we know about asthma in Africa?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... HemoTreat™ ... list of its hemorrhoid ointment to its website. , “Our goal is simple:” ... suffering from hemorrhoids. Adding the comparison chart and ingredient list allows our customers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Using a combination of two blood sugar ... and adults, according to a new study by researchers at the School of Public ... and Adults: Using Combinations of Blood Glucose Tests ,” published in Frontiers in Public ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The recently published ... Data System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison center about ... million of which were human exposure cases. , The American Association of Poison ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Brenntag Specialties, Inc. (BSI) ... for the Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral solid dosage in the over the ... “We are pleased to announce our expanded distribution agreement with ASI.” said Steve ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Medicalis, a leading developer of enterprise-scale ... America (RSNA) annual meeting, being held November 29 – December 3, 2015, that ... the company has completed installations for Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) customers such as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... --  Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG ; AEX: ... a fully integrated, consultative approach to enhance radiology ... management approaches that combine imaging systems, services, informatics ... delivery and reduce costs. Making its debut at ... Annual Meeting (RSNA) in Chicago ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... DULLES, Va. , Nov. 30, 2015  IBA ... the manufacture and distribution of radiopharmaceuticals, announced that as ... Zevacor Pharma, Inc. (Zevacor Pharma). The decision to rebrand ... of the firm as well as its close relationship ... owned by Illinois Health and Science (IHS). ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BOCA RATON, Fla. , Nov. 30, ... of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that ... , a medical device start-up company with technology developed ... creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges early funding ... -based universities and research institutions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: